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Third Hour

Don’t Use “Being Offended Is a Choice!” as a Cop-Out

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PSA, y'all: Being offended is a choice — but, contrary to what some people seem to believe, that doesn't mean we can say whatever mean thing we want, then accuse other people of being too sensitive. Elder David A. Bednar gave a fabulous talk in October 2006 called "And Nothing Shall Offend Them." In it, he explains that we have free agency and thus, no one can force us to be offended. If someone does something offensive, we certainly choose what to do with the hurt we feel. (For example, Elder Bednar talks about some people who hadn't attended church for years because they were offended by something someone at church had said — so essentially, they were letting someone else's actions control their lives rather than choosing to control their own lives.) But here's the rub: never getting your feelings hurt is really hard, and I honestly don't think Elder Bednar meant to say that if we are upset by someone else's actions or words, we're an out-of-line snowflake. I think what he...

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Okay; but by the same token, don’t use “that’s offensive” as a cop-out for “you are wrong and I can show that by reasoned discourse in conjunction with empirically verifiable facts”.

The problem with Rachel’s statement isn’t that it was offensive; it’s that it was preening, self-pitying, and definitionally and factually wrong.  There’s something weird about human nature, though; where we’d prefer to simply tell a Rachel that she was “hurtful” rather than explain to her all the reasons why she’s wrong and tell her just how silly she looks (and @amykeim, this isn’t a dig at you; I often see myself doing the same thing.  It’s just one of those things we mortals do, for some reason . . .)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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5 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

The problem with Rachel’s statement isn’t that it was offensive; it’s that it was preening, self-pitying, and definitionally and factually wrong.  There’s something weird about human nature, though; where we’d prefer to simply tell a Rachel that she was “hurtful” rather than explain to her all the reasons why she’s wrong and tell her just how silly she looks 

It's called a limited lifespan; I'm 43, and don't expect to be around long enough to list off all the reasons TFP is wrong, much less everybody else.

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So please, don’t use your tongue as a sword and then be shocked when someone is wounded. Don’t wave away people’s hurt feelings or frustrations with, “Oh, you’re too easily offended!” or “You’re being too sensitive!”

Or "Just Chill!  I was only kidding."

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15 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 It’s just one of those things we mortals do, for some reason . . .

I think it's because most of our mothers (mine did) taught us to be polite. Even if someone is "factually wrong" you don't want to be overly abrasive or contentious. 

It's mostly an internet problem. I very rarely see people saying hurtful and cruel things face to face. Even if someone is "factually wrong". Maybe all my friends are just wonderful people (they are) but I only see easily offended people online as well. I don't know many "snowflakes" in my life. 

Edited by MormonGator

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22 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Wait—wut?

Eh, be however you want to, it's your life. If you (generic!) want to be abrasive and unpleasant, knock yourself out.

In fact, I have more respect for people who are obnoxious and rude in real life while being obnoxious and rude online. I have no respect for people who are keyboard warriors but meek and humble in their regular lives. 

Edited by MormonGator

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7 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

In fact, I have more respect for people who are obnoxious and rude in real life while being obnoxious and rude online. I have no respect for people who are keyboard warriors but meek and humble in their regular lives.

After giving this much (read: 30 seconds or so) thought and pondering, I think I have more respect for people who attempt to be Christlike for some situation or period of time than for those who never try. We are generally more sophisticated and nuanced in our face-to-face interactions than we are typing stuff to an invisible online forum gathering. That is unfortunate, but being uniformly unpleasant seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

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14 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Eh, be however you want to, it's your life. If you (generic!) want to be abrasive and unpleasant, knock yourself out.

In fact, I have more respect for people who are obnoxious and rude in real life while being obnoxious and rude online. I have no respect for people who are keyboard warriors but meek and humble in their regular lives. 

I'm with you 100%. I think what people do behind the safety of their computer screens is the real tell of who they are. Anyone can be nice to someone's face, but not everyone is nice when they have the security of anonymity — and that's where I think our true intent and nature shine. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2013/03/dont-wear-masks?lang=eng

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Just now, Vort said:

After giving this much (read: 30 seconds or so) thought and pondering, I think I have more respect for people who attempt to be Christlike for some situation or period of time than for those who never try. We are generally more sophisticated and nuanced in our face-to-face interactions than we are typing stuff to an invisible online forum gathering. That is unfortunate, but being uniformly unpleasant seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

I understand where you are coming from and don't really disagree.

It does seem like some people (Certainly not you @Vort or @Just_A_Guy, just to be clear) do act unbelievably abrasive/contentious/offensive or just downright rude online. I can't imagine them acting this way in their personal lives and being happily married, happily employed, having friends, etc. i don't know, maybe they are happy. I hope they are, I wouldn't wish sadness and loneliness on anyone. But I can't imagine happy people acting like they do, so...

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Just now, Vort said:

After giving this much (read: 30 seconds or so) thought and pondering, I think I have more respect for people who attempt to be Christlike for some situation or period of time than for those who never try. We are generally more sophisticated and nuanced in our face-to-face interactions than we are typing stuff to an invisible online forum gathering. That is unfortunate, but being uniformly unpleasant seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

Also note that most of our communication happens non-verbally (aka is more then the words we speak).  People who can't process the non-verbal cues (or struggle with them) are generally considered to have some form of social disorder.

On-line all non-verbal cues are stripped away.. leaving just the words.  Keyboard courage or keyboard warriors may be nothing of the sort.  They might be behaving exactly the same way... but without the non-verbal cues the words sound harsh and stark. 

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1 minute ago, amykeim said:

I'm with you 100%. I think what people do behind the safety of their computer screens is the real tell of who they are. Anyone can be nice to someone's face, but not everyone is nice when they have the security of anonymity — and that's where I think our true intent and nature shine. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2013/03/dont-wear-masks?lang=eng

Thanks, agree totally. How you act online is very revealing. 

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22 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Eh, be however you want to, it's your life. If you (generic!) want to be abrasive and unpleasant, knock yourself out.

In fact, I have more respect for people who are obnoxious and rude in real life while being obnoxious and rude online. I have no respect for people who are keyboard warriors but meek and humble in their regular lives. 

(That was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, by the way.  :P )

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5 minutes ago, amykeim said:

I'm with you 100%. I think what people do behind the safety of their computer screens is the real tell of who they are. Anyone can be nice to someone's face, but not everyone is nice when they have the security of anonymity — and that's where I think our true intent and nature shine. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2013/03/dont-wear-masks?lang=eng

I get what you're saying here and there's some truth to it, but this is actually not generally true especially among the iGen.

Internet anonymity, most especially among the iGen, is more prone to LARPing than authenticity.

LARP - Live Action Role Playing 

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3 hours ago, MormonGator said:

In fact, I have more respect for people who are obnoxious and rude in real life while being obnoxious and rude online. I have no respect for people who are keyboard warriors but meek and humble in their regular lives. 

I'm really not twisting this on purpose.  This is how I honestly read this.

Quote

I'd prefer that people were rude and obnoxious to their friends and put on a mask of politeness to strangers, than to be nice to their friends and obnoxious to strangers.

I would think that it is pretty human and common to show genuine compassion and understanding to friends and family while being unwelcoming to strangers.  Whether that is Christlike or not is something else.  But certainly to be rude to friends while feigning respect to strangers is less Christlike.

I would hope that you didn't mean it that way.  But lately, I've come to believe I have no idea where you're coming from sometimes.

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5 minutes ago, Mores said:

I'm really not twisting this on purpose.  This is how I honestly read this.

I would think that it is pretty human and common to show genuine compassion and understanding to friends and family while being unwelcoming to strangers.  Whether that is Christlike or not is something else.  But certainly to be rude to friends while feigning respect to strangers is less Christlike.

I would hope that you didn't mean it that way.  But lately, I've come to believe I have no idea where you're coming from sometimes.

What I took from Mormon Gator's original comment is that you should be the same everywhere you go — be the same person online that you are in real life. I think anonymity in some regards allows us to be our true selves — to voice our true opinions — because we're not worried about how others will perceive us, or for any lashback we might receive.

I have the most respect for people who are exactly the same person online that they are in real life; who are genuine in ALL aspects of their lives, whether that's on the internet or in person... I think that's the point MG was making.

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8 minutes ago, Mores said:

I'm really not twisting this on purpose.  This is how I honestly read this.

I would think that it is pretty human and common to show genuine compassion and understanding to friends and family while being unwelcoming to strangers.  Whether that is Christlike or not is something else.  But certainly to be rude to friends while feigning respect to strangers is less Christlike.

I would hope that you didn't mean it that way.  But lately, I've come to believe I have no idea where you're coming from sometimes.

No, what I meant was-I have no respect for people who are nice and polite in real life, and then go online to forums under the mask of anonymity and be contentious, rude, snotty, trolling, etc. That's a keyboard warrior, and those people are basically garbage. They give all of us (people who enjoy online chatting) bad names. 

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1 minute ago, amykeim said:

What I took from Mormon Gator's original comment is that you should be the same everywhere you go — be the same person online that you are in real life. I think anonymity in some regards allows us to be our true selves — to voice our true opinions — because we're not worried about how others will perceive us, or for any lashback we might receive.

I have the most respect for people who are exactly the same person online that they are in real life; who are genuine in ALL aspects of their lives, whether that's on the internet or in person... I think that's the point MG was making.

Well, he didn't say be the same wherever you go. 

He said it was better to be lopsided one way than the other.  And if we're going to be lopsided, I'd prefer one direction, he'd apparently prefer the opposite.

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2 minutes ago, amykeim said:

What I took from Mormon Gator's original comment is that you should be the same everywhere you go — be the same person online that you are in real life. I think anonymity in some regards allows us to be our true selves — to voice our true opinions — because we're not worried about how others will perceive us, or for any lashback we might receive.

I have the most respect for people who are exactly the same person online that they are in real life; who are genuine in ALL aspects of their lives, whether that's on the internet or in person... I think that's the point MG was making.

Correct.  

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3 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

No, what I meant was-I have no respect for people who are nice and polite in real life, and then go online to forums under the mask of anonymity and be contentious, rude, snotty, trolling, etc. That's a keyboard warrior, and those people are basically garbage. They give all of us (people who enjoy online chatting) bad names. 

How did I know you were going to take no effort to clarify anything, but repeat yourself almost verbatim expecting a different result?

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4 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Correct.  

If you simply wanted to say that people should be consistent, then you shouldn't have said you have more respect for people who fake politeness online while being rude in real life.  That is certainly not consistent behavior.

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1 minute ago, Mores said:

How did I know you were going to take no effort to clarify anything, but repeat yourself almost verbatim expecting a different result?

Because you understand me much better than you think you do. 😉

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1 hour ago, amykeim said:

What I took from Mormon Gator's original comment is that you should be the same everywhere you go — be the same person online that you are in real life. I think anonymity in some regards allows us to be our true selves — to voice our true opinions — because we're not worried about how others will perceive us, or for any lashback we might receive.

As a teenager, I complained to my mother about an older sibling's very obvious pretense of being all mature and grown-up. Mom told me something very wise that has stuck with me through my life: "Sometimes people need to fake being some way until they grow into it."

Everyone understands and approves of the idea of genuineness. But a patient man is often an impatient man who holds his tongue. A loving man is often an angry, uncharitable man who holds his temper. This is how we begin to act like Christ. I do not consider such sincere efforts to be hypocrisy; quite the opposite. And I do not believe that there is any virtue in being a jerk in person as well as online instead of only online.

In my experience, personal and otherwise, people who try to be kind in person eventually learn to try to extend that to their online persona. It's a facile and ultimately false argument to maintain that those who are less kind online than in person are hypocrites.

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5 hours ago, estradling75 said:

They might be behaving exactly the same way... but without the non-verbal cues the words sound harsh and stark. 

In high school I planned out a film class project where we re-shot the exact same script in the same locations with the same 'actors' multiple times where the only things that differed were body language and vocal demeanor.  With no verbal or body language cues, you could be saying something sincerely meant as a kindness, and the receiver may interpret it as the opposite.  The purpose of the project was to help portray the principle that words themselves can be much less important than how they are delivered and/or received.

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